Survival Tattoos

Janel Parrish


Janel Parrish covered up the old treble clef tattoo on her wrist with a lotus flower in May 2015.  The lotus symbolizes survival through hardships. “Finally got my lotus. A lotus is the only flower that can grow in mud. Through darkness blooms beauty if you let it,” she writes.

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Skylar Grey


Skylar Grey has a tattoo on the left side of her neck of two crossed hatchets. The image is in the negative space, with gray ink spread around it like a spray-paint stencil.

The hatchets represent the time that Skylar spent living in the woods and learning to survive on her own. She has used the same crossed axe design as her logo.

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Ash Costello


Ash Costello has a tattoo a razor blade cutting her wrist to represents her struggles with depression and everything that she has overcome. She writes:

“My Friday the 13th tattoo with the @nydrock boys. To remind me…..I have survived the worst times, the fucking worst, but I pushed through it and now I’m enjoying the best times with my best friends.”

She got this tattoo on September 13, 2013 as part of a tradition in which tattoo parlors give discounted tattoos on every Friday the 13th.  Usually the tattoos have the number 13 in them, and Ash’s razor blade has “XIII” which is the Roman Numeral for 13.

“I have a lot of Friday the 13th tattoos because I’m a big advocate of $20 tattoos. I have my razor blade, and the heart, and the Misfits, and other little things.”

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Skylar Grey


Skylar Gray has a large forest scene tattoo covering her whole back. The tattoo represents a period in her life where she lived in the woods in Oregon before re-inventing herself. This time was essential to her growth both as a person and as an artist.

“I moved into a cabin in the woods and I was broke and I was down on my luck and depressed. It was there that I proved to myself that I could survive anything. And when I came out of the woods I wrote ‘Love The Way You Lie’ and that changed my life forever. So that tattoo represents that whole dream to me.”

The imagery of tattoo includes storm clouds and lightning bolts to represent her struggles and cabin to represent her shelter in the storm. The more lighthearted part of the tattoo is a lumberjack clown which was inspired by her tattoo artist Mister Cartoon’s affinity for clowns.

“I wanted a lumberjack. Mister Cartoon has this signature thing that he does clowns. So I thought, why not just make it a lumberjack clown? Because that’s what I do, I mix weird stuff together. My album is like that, my fashion sense is like that,” she told Amp Radio.

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